All Articles
All Articles
FOOD + DRINK

Three Jerks Jerky

Co-founders Daniel Fogelson and Jordan Barrocas on their grassroots approach to pushing three bold-flavored beef treats

by CH Contributor
on 06 December 2013

by Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi

ThreeJerks-1.jpg

There's jerky, then there's Three Jerks Jerky. Daniel Fogelson and Jordan Barrocas, the duo behind Three Jerks Jerky have concocted the couture of jerky—drawing from the best filet mignon cut to deliver what could very well be the san gréal of beef jerky. The novelty of fashioning jerky from filet mignon is something that has never been attempted on a production end; hence, each gnaw of sinewy jerky resurrects that tender, buttery texture that is revered in filet mignon. At the same time, the mild flavor of this lean steak cut serves as a perfect base for flavors to translate.

Fittingly, Three Jerks currently boasts three flavors—Original, Chipotle Adobo and Memphis BBQ—that are distinct in how each initially titillates and then lingers on the palette. The pick of the three for us was the Chipotle Adobo with the fragrant adobo base of black pepper, garlic, and oregano seamlessly fusing with a piquant hint of vinegar and citrus. There's a Filipino kick to this complex blend of flavors that filters through with every bite.

The groundswell of support Three Jerks Jerky received in their Kickstarter campaign is a testament to the quality of their product. We had a chance to talk shop with the jerks, Fogelson and Barrocas, touching on their humble grassroots beginnings and life since their auspicious Kickstarter campaign.

ThreeJerks-portrait.jpg
"We wanted to make the best damn beef jerky the world has ever tasted."
When did that seminal, late night conversation about jerky take place? How do you feel about the company's progression?

Daniel Fogelson: The original jerky conversation took place last August. Long story short, we were discussing our displeasure with available beef jerky when we simultaneously looked up at each other and immediately realized we should make some for ourselves. Naturally, we were not going to make just any beef jerky. We wanted to make the best damn beef jerky the world has ever tasted. The next day we bought meat, ingredients for marinades and a dehydrator. We tested our chops at making jerky, the result was shockingly good, and the rest is history.

Jordan Barrocas: While we still have much work to do and more to accomplish, we’re extremely proud to be where we are. We started Three Jerks Jerky in our home kitchen, experimenting and making jerky every night after our day jobs, trying to make something we liked. Each step we took was natural and truly based on an organic process. The progression from starting at home to launching our website and now seeing Three Jerks Jerky on the shelves at gourmet stores like Eataly, makes us proud. Most importantly though, to be able to continue making a product we love and building a business that we are passionate about is what we are most excited for.

What do you think your Kickstarter backers connected with—especially those who hadn't even tasted your jerky yet?

DF: When we first developed the concept for Three Jerks Jerky we wanted to build a local foundation, so Kickstarter was a natural place for a grassroots introduction. Kickstarter provided the ability to let personality come through more than other mediums used to introduce a business. Therefore, backers were able to connect with us as the founders and with the characteristics of our brand. Three Jerks Jerky: The Original Filet Mignon Beef Jerky, inherently conveys quality, but is also done so through an irreverent and fun voice.  Hopefully people connect with our passion and are thus able to share in our love for Three Jerks Jerky.

ThreeJerks-7.jpg
Daniel, word on the street is that the Memphis flavored jerky is a rub you concocted when you were seven. How did you arrive at the other flavors?

DF: Jordan likes to exaggerate that a bit! I started using the rub on ribs in high school when I fell in love with cooking. When we were developing flavors for Three Jerks Jerky, the rub's depth and layered flavor was a perfect fit for jerky. Jordan created the Original recipe in his kitchen modeling it after a traditional jerky marinade, but made a few tweaks.  For Chipotle Adobo, we reached into our vault of personal favorite recipes. It combined a Filipino Adobo Marinade I love and a homemade Chipotle BBQ sauce Jordan had perfected. We literally threw them into a bag together not knowing exactly what we would get. Magic happened that created a truly unique jerky flavor. Not only do three flavors line up nicely with our name, but it allowed us to concentrate and perfect each flavor. We are however always working on new flavor profiles we like for jerky and should have something new to offer soon.

ThreeJerks-8.jpg
Since the Kickstarter campaign ended what have you jerks been up to?

JB: Our Kickstarter campaign was a great experience and we want to thank all of our backers for their support. They've provided us the opportunity to follow our dreams and we are undoubtedly grateful. Of course our first priority was to fulfill all our orders. We sold over 2,500 bags of jerky which was by far the largest amount of jerky we had to make. Needless to say it took some planning to scale up our supply chain, but we were able finish and ship all orders only six weeks after the campaign closed. Concurrently, we were working on the full commercial launch of Three Jerks Jerky, including our ecommerce website and our brick and mortar retail distribution. Now, the website is live and Three Jerks Jerky is available at Eataly in NYC as well as four other cities: SnapTop Market in Boston, Epicure Gourmet Market in Miami, Calandro's Market in Baton Rouge, and Broome Street General Store and Say Cheese in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

So to follow up with production tidbit following the end of Kickstarter, are all Three Jerks Jerky made in-house by the two of you?

DF: We have found and partnered with a jerky production facility that is about 30 miles east of downtown LA, and with them we are able to produce 15,000 bags of jerky a week if needed. We worked carefully with them over the past eight to nine months to make sure they make the jerky to our specs so that the flavors are just right. It is a handcrafted product from start to finish.

ThreeJerks-6.jpg
I'm intrigued as to how you built up such an ardent following. What was your means of getting the word out about the Three Jerks?

JB: Everything we have done has been grassroots. The same particularly applies to how we have marketed Three Jerks Jerky. We have almost purely relied on social media to interact with customers and promote our product. Aside from the fact that we don’t have the deep pockets required for traditional advertising and PR, we think that being able to directly communicate is more effective. We enjoy developing relationships with all the fellow jerks out there and have even made new friends in the process.

Three Jerks Jerky retails at $15 a pack or $40 for a set of three, and can be purchased directly from their online store.

Lead image courtesy of Hagop Kalaidjian, all others by Samantha Ashley Wilkins

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring
Loading More...